Excerpt from McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

McNally's Dilemma

by Vincent Lardo

McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 1999, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2000, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I wore a three-button blue suit and rep tie, à la Vance, and Allen-Edmond cordovan kilties. Except for the kilties the look was very un-Archy, but business is business.

Commandeering the stool next to Ginny, I opened with, "Givenchy?"

The lady was quick on the uptake. "How kind," she cooed. "But no. It's from a shop in South Beach. They call it a knockoff."

"A knockoff for a knockout," I retorted, wishing I had a waxed mustache to stroke. "May I buy you a drink?"

Ginny giggled. "I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers."

For this, Vivian Leigh and Tennessee Williams should have risen from their graves and strangled her.

One word led to another, one drink led to another, and Ginny's hand led to my thigh, a territory she seemed to know rather well. All of this led to her motel room, where she plied me with cheap gin and suggestive gestures. When her cavorting failed to arouse her supposed mark, Ginny grew a bit frantic and announced that she was going to adjourn to the bathroom and "slip into something comfortable."

This was my cue to ring down the curtain on this farce. "Forget it, my dear," I told Ginny, "your Richard Avedon ain't showing up tonight."

That got her attention. "What are you talking about?"

"Snap, snap, pop, pop, five grand, and Bob's your uncle."

"Are you a cop?"

"No, but as we speak, your partner is handing over his photographic endeavors to one of Palm Beach's finest."

The sudden realization that she had been set up caused her to lose her cool and she shouted, "You skunk. You . . ."

I held her wrists in a firm grip to keep her ruby-tinted claws from gouging out my eyes. "The fix was in all the while," she ranted. "What do you want from me?"

"Your cooperation."

To a woman in Ginny's profession, my retort had but one meaning. Her little hands stopped fighting my grip and she was once again ready to slip into something comfortable. "I wouldn't let him take your picture, Archy," she purred.

"Why not?"

"You know why not." She actually blushed as she spoke. Mata Hari, meet your master. "I like you, Archy."

Al Rogoff was not going to arrest her friend, for it would serve no purpose. Vance would have to press charges, and he might as well have the pair show the photos to Penny as do that. Al was going to put the fear of God in the guy and tell him and the lovely Ginny to get out of town.

But Ginny didn't know this, so when I said, "And I like you, Ginny. That's why I'm going to walk out of here and forget we ever met, if you hand over the negatives of last night's 'shoot'-and while you're at it, any other negatives you might be hoping to turn into ready cash."

Knowing a good deal when she heard one, Ginny complied while continuing to make suggestive gestures in hopes of a last minute reprieve. "Can I keep the ones from Disney World?" she asked.

"Absolutely not," I scolded.

I left with my cache, wondering if I had saved Mickey a lot of grief.

Father was in his den. I knocked.

"Come," he called.

He was sitting in the swivel chair behind his enormous desk, reading Dickens. "Yes, Archy?"

"The Tremaine case is closed, sir."

"Very good, Archy."

"Would you like to hear about it, sir?"

"No, Archy. Would you like a glass of port?"

"I think I would, sir."

And that, as they say, was that.

Reprinted from McNally's Dilemma by Vincent Lardo by permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 1999 by Lawrence A. Sanders Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...
  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.